In 2000, the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research (WCDR), Madison, began researching whey permeate. Originally, the focus was on browning, flavor enhancing and cost reduction, but according to Kimberlee Burrington, WCDR director of dairy ingredient applications, much of their recent work has examined sodium reduction in bakery products.

Although the flavor enhancement mechanisms attributed to this product are not well understood yet, it is believed that some of the non-protein nitrogen compounds — urea, creatine, creatinine, uric acid, orotic acid and ammonia — may act as flavor enhancers while the mineral salts — calcium phosphate, magnesium, sodium and potassium — may function as salt enhancers. Using this ingredient, researchers at the WCDR achieved sodium reductions of 12 to 70% in different bakery products.

Delactosed permeate has a savory flavor that can be used alone or in conjunction with other technologies to achieve up to 30% sodium reduction.